Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Move any Mountain

Lots of happy coincidences and serendipitous meetings have been taking place over the past week but let's start with today.

As a means to provoke thought and debate amongst students at my old senior school about their future careers and aspirations, I was asked to go in and talk about my story of  going from being a pupil at the school through the corporate years to becoming a writer.

I may have been small (and covered in eggs & flour,
such was the way we celebrated birthdays at my school)
but I was already planning on moving a few mountains :)
Whilst driving over, I heard a Radio 2 phone-in on the hot topic of how children of working-class white parents (a category I would have been very much put in when I was a teenager) tend to fare less well at school than children of other ethnic backgrounds.  I didn't get to hear the whole programme but I did hear a lot of "I blame the parents".  What I would have liked to have heard is the children's perspective, I think they would have had some interesting things to say - I know I would have had an opinion when I was fourteen (and twelve, and three...never did learn to keep quiet :)).

I decided during the talk that rather than try to describe to the pupils what I'd done, I would read them some extracts from Reasons to be Cheerful that dealt with being a teenager, education, my first foray into work and the relevance of rap music to my career.  After all, I'm a writer, kind of made sense to..

I also decided that I really ought to back up my claim that I could write a decent bit of verse by writing them a rap - although it is entirely possible I was more Pam Ayres than L'il Kim...

It's about the potential we all have to effect change, the possibilities that can come from positivity and just getting out there and going for it.  I'm not yet brave enough to record it as one of my favourite bloggers and fellow seeker of truths Chris Packe but watch this space :)

It All Starts With You

Here’s a question for you
Can a white woman rap?
Will I carry this off
Or will it sound …….rubbish

Here’s another – is the future
Of your own making?
Is life what you’re dealt?
Or is it there for the taking?

If you’ve been told
“You’re a waste of space”
Can you still be successful?
Can you still find your place?

Do you think life’s pre-destined?
Or that you have choice?
Do you choose to hear a positive
Or negative voice?

If you want to get somewhere
If you have that desire
Go find the example
To which you can aspire

Who gets to decide
What we each will become?
Think it’s “different for them”?
Think it’s “alright for some”?

I would challenge that view
That it’s written in the stars
The paths our lives take
Are all choices of ours

Want to work in big business?
Create software, form bands?
Whether you’re something, or nothing
It is in your hands

Your process starts here
You can shape your ambition
Set out what you’ll strive for
Earn recognition

Just think for a moment
How you would define
Your future to be
And say “This is mine”

“I own who I am
And what I will be
It’s within my control
It’s starting with me”

Make yourself a promise
To prove others wrong
Keep a positive outlook
Be fearless, be strong

Believe you can do it
Make it come true
Stay focused, stay hopeful

It all starts with you

Soundtrack: Move any Mountain - The Shamen (for my friend Nina, and for the times we spent rapping along with Mr C :D )


  1. Brilliant! Great message - cleverly delivered.... more please!

    1. Thanks Debbie and there are plenty more where that came from ;)